Thursday, January 10, 2008

try not to burn the place down

so we're rolling.

today, more than many a recent day, i felt a surge of momentum carrying me forward on a number of fronts. a couple highlights include finally facing the prospect of having our floors deglued and ground smooth for sealing by the weekend; having our new t-shirts in stock and ready to roll out (they are cool and indie and very d.i.y.-ish); getting our ventilation and ducting ready at the roasterie for inspection; having some very interesting discussions on our local texas coffee boards about the structure of espresso blends and whether more or less beans may be "better;" and preparing to host some of our texas coffee pros for an afternoon of cupping, roasting and delicious margaritas afterward. just lots of cool stuff going on personally and professionally right now.

last night i was doing a couple test batches on the new ventilation stuff and i had quite a scare. all of a sudden the electrical outlet the roaster is connected to came to a screeching halt. with beans in it. hot. no electricity, no motor turning the drum. no roastie coffee, rightee? yeah. i don't have a long history of friendship with all things electrical--let us just say it all started when i shorted out all the lights on the back hallway of my junior high school one day on a dare...probably should've been killed by that stunt. and since it was pretty late at night and this is a new location for us and the roaster i wasn't too pleased to be seeing what i was seeing. after clearing out that ruined batch and resetting the breaker a bit later, i left the roasterie last night wondering how extensive the damage might be. well, night always gives way to day and upon inspection this morning it turns out there was a glitch in the roaster itself, not some systemic electrical deficiency in the building. should be easily enough solved.

and on we roll.

i just feel like we're heading into a good place. our first year was bone-crushingly difficult and slow as a business. last year i felt like i worked pretty hard to start building a little scratch here and there to somehow gain some momentum. not an unbeaten winning streak but just stringing together little wins at a time; then having streaks where you look back and have many more wins under your belt than losses for a given period. i ended the year thinking that this year would be a bigger year than we've had yet and so far those predictions are already proving true.
by nature i'm a pessimist about a good many things. doing something like moving into a new building and spending lots of my baby company's money on things like paint and glue-remover can seem hard to swallow. but when you meet people so quickly in your new place who begin to get very excited to see what you're doing and begin to open the doors of their resources and contacts to help you succeed at a greater level...that's inspiring.

we hope to have an open house in early february and i'd like to invite you all to come visit our new place and to see the stuff brown is becoming. we'll post up something here and what a treat it'd be to see you all here.

the good news is that this is not a blog just about my company. i'm also glad to see my own coffee growth as well. it is always key in a small company to grow ahead of the pace your company grows. otherwise you may be ill-equipped to lead it ere long. i'm always looking to grow; but i just feel like lately a renewal of all things coffee has come around for me and i've just reentered one of those plateaus where the discovery of coffee and coffee stuff is new again, fresh and invigorating. you know how that works? you sometimes just get to the place where it's dull, like you're not learning or spewing out anything new, where nothing exciting is happening. it's times like those when you start not only feeling dragged down but you start criticizing in your heart anyone who is showing any hmph to express something new and different. maybe that's just the perspective i had as the year closed out and i sat staring at batch after batch after endless batch tumbling in my little roaster, wondering if i would ever finally reach the next level, if all the blood, sweat and tears i had lost in this thing would pay off.

and as night turns to day, so december passes and january awakens me again to the possibilities of the new. it's amazing what positivism and determination can do for you. and it's true: the harder you work, the luckier you get.

i should be lucky this year. i will be. count on it.

come see us next month. watch this space for details.

1 Comments:

At Thursday, 10 January, 2008, Anonymous Jason H. said...

Loved this post.

And this par,
"by nature i'm a pessimist about a good many things. doing something like moving into a new building and spending lots of my baby company's money on things like paint and glue-remover can seem hard to swallow. but when you meet people so quickly in your new place who begin to get very excited to see what you're doing and begin to open the doors of their resources and contacts to help you succeed at a greater level...that's inspiring."

It's true. We all need each other in this business. Competition? Not hardly. It's Coopetition, and anyone worth their salt knows it.

Keep up the great work. I feel the re-emergence with the coming of the new year as well. Maybe it's something in the water...

 

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